Media Proxy: The most-shared cybersecurity stories of 2021

Welcome to the Media Proxy, your source for data, advice, and insight on how cybersecurity companies can get better results from their PR and marketing.

Keep scrolling for:

  • How to ace your next media interview, according to CNET’s Bree Fowler
  • 2021’s top cybersecurity stories and what you can learn from them

by the numbers


CVE severity rating for Log4Shell

$90.1 million

Mistaken payments to users of DeFi platform Compound caused by a bug in an update


Security leaders who say they face challenges sharing threat intelligence internally


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1. CNET’s Bree Fowler on the key components of good cybersecurity stories​​

Bree Fowler, Senior Reporter at CNET covering digital security, let us in on what makes experts shine in an interview, the word you should never use in a press release, and the question that all good security stories answer.

What makes for a good security story?

  • A good security story answers the question: “Why should I care?” The people I write for are interested in tech, but they’re not into inside baseball. Think about whether your best friend or mom would be interested in the story. If you’re pitching a funding announcement, executive appointment or most B2B stories, the answer is probably no.
  • But, on the other hand, while topics like ransomware, data privacy and misinformation were once too technical for a general audience, that’s not the case now. Even regular people now have a basic understanding and interest in data security and privacy.

What advice do you have for industry experts and others that would help them understand what you need from an interview?

  • If you’re doing TV, speak in short soundbites, make eye contact and most importantly look happy to be there. If you’re doing an interview for a print story, don’t drone on, but tangents are OK, too. I like a good war story or anecdote and I will make time for interesting people. That said, if you’re only scheduled for 30 minutes, please don’t run over unless the reporter keeps asking questions. We have deadlines to make.

If you could change anything about how cybersecurity companies communicate about their products and services, what would you improve?

  • Never use the word “solution” in a press release. It’s not a solution, it’s a product or service. Journalists hate jargon and we really hate press releases that we can’t understand or don’t get straight to the point.
  • Also, never say that your product is “hacker proof.” People won’t take you seriously and you’re putting a target on your back. That said, over-the-top, cheesy marketing is bad, too. Remember Norse? The plastic Viking helmet I picked up at the crazy Black Hat party years ago has outlasted the company itself.

2. Top cybersecurity stories of 2021​

In 2021, cybersecurity stories garnered more than 5 million interactions across all social networks, according to NewWhip’s Spike. Here are five of the stories that got the most engagement:

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  • Show the impact on consumers to elevate a cybersecurity story to a mainstream business and news story. The Colonial Pipeline attack, which left consumers facing price surges and gas shortages, was one of the most widely shared stories of the year for that reason.
  • Don’t sleep on local news. The second-most shared article on the list is an ABC affiliate in Asheville, North Carolina. The story was national, but the effects on consumers were local.


4. Best of clients in the news for 2021

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The Media Proxy is brought to you by Gregory FCA, a cybersecurity PR, content marketing, and social media firm.